Snack Dinner :: Winning Dinner for Busy Moms

Snack dinners have become all the rage as of late. There’s something about having a platter of options to choose from that brings out the kid in all of us. Snack dinners aren’t just about the food though. They become an experience. Everyone lingers at the table a little longer than normal grazing and chatting. Toddlers love the independence of getting to reach for and select their own foods (from your pre-selected choices). Best of all, you eliminate dinner battles (at least for one night) because everyone in your house will love Snack Dinner. My kids actually cheer when they walk in the door and find a tray filled with their favorite foods.

The beauty of snack dinner is that there is zero cooking involved, so plan it for a day you know you will be busy or tired. Also, there is something for everyone, even the pickiest of eaters will be pleased with something from the assortment.

‘Tell me more about this Snack Dinner solution to all of my dinner woes’ you ask. Gladly!

I like to assemble an adults platter for me and my husband and a kid platter for our 3 boys, but you could do one giant platter if you prefer. My husband and I tend to eat more fancy items like brie and prosciutto while my kids prefer pepperoni and mozzarella on their snack platter.

There really aren’t any rules here, pretty much anything goes, but here are a few guidelines I like to follow;

at least 1 cheese per platter (I like brie and smoked gouda for adults and cheddar or mozzarella for kids)
at least 1 meat per platter (I like prosciutto for adults and pepperoni for kids)
at least 1 condiment per platter (ex/ jam, hummus, ranch dip…)
at least 1 fruit per platter (dried or fresh, I like dried apricots and fresh grapes for the adults and raisins and apple wedges or orange slices for the kids)
at least 1 type of nut per platter (I like to use mixed nuts, cashews or pistachios)
at least 1 vegetable per platter (usually either carrots, cucumber, broccoli, or bell pepper strips)
2 starches per platter (I like rosemary crackers and gluten-free crackers for adults and popcorn and veggie straws for kids)
at least 1 briny item per platter (I like olives and gherkins for adults and dill pickles for kids)

Once you have your ingredients selected, you can begin constructing your platter. It doesn’t have to be an actual platter either, you can use a sheet pan, cutting board, or anything large and flat. First, place any dips and small items (olives, raisins) in a small bowl. Place bowls in separate sections of the platter. Then begin to fill in the space by arranging the other ingredients around the platter, trying to separate like-colored items to add variety and interest across the platter.

Once everything is assembled take a picture of your creation, because you know you are going to want to post it on the gram and show all of your friends the beautiful platter you created, then summon your people and receive all of the ooohs, ahhhhs, high-fives and hugs they lavish on you (for doing basically no work on dinner).

Have you done a snack dinner? If so, what are your favorite items to include?

Shannon Mangerchine
Shannon lives in Central City, New Orleans with her husband, Jeremy, and three sons, Noah, Eli and Zeke. She left a career in Human Resources to take on her dream of being a stay-at-home mom. During this time, she and her husband founded a non-profit called Bastion Resources with the purpose of inspiring others to live a life of intimacy with God. Shannon is passionate about creating community and engaging in meaningful conversation around the dinner table. Recently, she created The Intentional Daily Journal to help people live with more purpose and clarity, which is available for purchase on Amazon. In her free time, Shannon enjoys all types of fitness, trying new restaurants, reading and discussing books with her book club, coffee dates with friends and hanging at the park with her family. Shannon is constantly creating new healthy recipes and sharing them on her blog Dinner Done by 9am.


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